Cloud vs. On-Premises Contact Center
Contact center software provides many benefits to businesses and other organizations that interact with customers and the public. More broad in scope than call center software, contact center solutions rout calls efficiently, but also untap an organization's full potential to solve customer concerns.
While contact center software helps organizations optimize customer experience — a customer support approach that has grown in popularity over the past few years — a cloud-based solution increases agility while keeping costs in control. A contact center solution that is hosted on-premises can involve costly expenses. The software must run on a server, and the system needs to be maintained. When contact center functionality is moved to the cloud, these expenses are lessened. The potential cost savings, however, is far from the sole benefit of a cloud contact center.
Contact Center Software Basics
A contact center traditionally was just as its name described. Customers needed a channel for contacting a business or organization to solve problems, place orders, or simply ask questions. A contact center, then, was a place for people to call and get routed to answers. Often the goal was to speak to a live representative. Over the years, however, communication preferences have changed, while access to information has also evolved. Today, contact centers are just as likely to involve embedded live chat, email responses, and self-service options.
This evolution of contact center software to multichannel communications has also changed how organizations interact with customers on a larger level. Rather than view customer support sessions as individual transactions, contact center-equipped organizations can follow the entire customer lifecycle to increase engagement and ensure that customer concerns are adequately addressed.
Moving Contact Centers to the Cloud
A cloud-based contact center solution moves storage and hosting of contact center software offsite. Since the system is not hosted in-house, there are some significant differences between the solutions. First are the cost savings we touched upon briefly. Troubleshooting and support for a cloud-based system is more straightforward as service providers handle all technical issues. With an on-premise contact center, organizations might have to hire a full-time system administrator. With the cloud, organizations can focus more of their budgets on their day-to-day operations and innovation, rather than maintenance of on-premises systems.
More importantly, though, a cloud-based contact system is an invaluable disaster recovery tool. Cloud contact center benefits were realized during recent natural disasters, such as hurricanes and floods. These events often knock out phone, electrical, and network services and can cripple businesses. But cloud contact centers do more than protect against business disruption. Usually, disasters tax local phone services and on-premises PBX phone systems. Off-premise, cloud-based communications solutions can help municipalities and government agencies coordinate recovery, too.
Create Office-Wide Efficiencies through the Cloud
Beyond cost savings and cloud reliability, cloud contact center solutions integrate communications with operational processes. An on-premises software package is often geared towards the functionality of a call center. These systems route calls, but do not offer the scalability and flexibility of a cloud deployed system. With the cloud, your contact center can increase or decrease its bandwidth based on expected call volume. If the holiday season has historically seen high volume calling, you can ramp up features and extensions. During the slow months, you can just as easily dial back.
Another useful feature of a cloud contact center is how it can enable remote agent work. If you scale up your workforce during a rush period, you can onboard remote-based call center agents, reducing or eliminating the need for additional office space. Contact center seats can be expensive, and allowing remote work can also provide a benefit to employee productivity. Rather than have a call agent call in sick for a child's illness or other situation, that agent may be able to work from home and maintain production levels.
Cloud-enabled remote access is also beneficial to managers and other non-support employees who may need to troubleshoot issues when away from the office.
8x8's Virtual Contact Center provides all the functionality of a modern call center, with added benefits of the cloud. With tools to increase agent productivity while enhancing the customer experience, 8x8 can enable businesses and organizations to recast a call center as a complete communications and information management solution.
With 8x8's Virtual Contact Center you get world-class technology and everything your domestic or international business needs without the need for multiple disparate systems. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.